Highland senior Aly Stokes has been a steady hand for four years of basketball as she’s averaged a double-double over the course of her career.
The standout athlete was selected to the third-team Class 2A All-State team by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association and the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.
Stokes led Highland in all the major statistical categories — scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. According to Highland coach Jody Fink, that comes from her just being a superb overall athlete.
Just the second Highland girls basketball player to join the 1,000 points-1,000 rebounds club, Stokes’ role over her four years changed gradually to taking over the team. After first being surrounded by players like Kelsey Hora and Cheyann Adamson, Stokes over the years gradually had to transform into the team’s leader. Something she embraced and excelled at.
“You have to have the drive and intensity to put the team on your back like you have to at times, but also play within the team,” Fink said. “She does a lot of that stuff by bringing girls to her and opening others up. She’s just an all-around good player and incorporates everyone around her.”
One of Stokes best attributes is her timing. The Highland senior blocked 133 shots, which was the second most in the state of Iowa this season.
“I’m not sure she would look at herself as a shot-blocking monster but she’s just really good at timing. She got a block and a rebound a lot of the time,” Fink said.
Her shot-blocking ability has led to some video game like numbers at times. Stokes had 20 points, 17 blocks and nine rebounds in a 38-24 win over Winfield-Mount Union. In a 47-41 win at Wapello, she scored 27 points and grabbed eight boards while blocking eight shots.
Games like that showed Stokes’ ability to take over games and grind out baskets when nothing else was falling for Highland. Fink said that just comes down to Stokes being a strong leader.
“She is that way and became a good leader and I believe will do well in college whether she’s out for sports or just looking at her future down the line,” he said.
This is now the second sport Stokes has received All-State honors in, with Stokes being a honorable mention selection in softball. Stokes in a four-sport athlete at Highland and plays volleyball, basketball and softball while also running track. She was a first-team All-Conference selection in softball, basketball and volleyball in the past year while also qualifying for the state track meet in three events.